Thursday, September 3, 2015

Kendricks carries a heavy workload, more camp notes

Linebacker Mychal Kendricks has received a lot of attention already from coaches and media at the Eagles rookie camp. He’s been an attentive listener when Juan Castillo has delivered instructions and eloquent speaker when asked questions, but today, before he did yet another interview, he needed to sit down on a waiting cart.

Kendricks carries a heavy workload, more camp notes

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Rookie linebacker Mychal Kendricks gives the Eagles a different look in the pass rush. (Alex Brandon/AP)
Rookie linebacker Mychal Kendricks gives the Eagles a different look in the pass rush. (Alex Brandon/AP)

Linebacker Mychal Kendricks has received a lot of attention already from coaches and media at the Eagles rookie camp. He’s been an attentive listener when Juan Castillo has delivered instructions and eloquent speaker when asked questions, but today, before he did yet another interview, he needed to sit down on a waiting cart.

Along with all of the attention has come a huge helping of exhausting snaps for the second round pick. If he has his way, there will be many more to come once the regular season begins, since Kendricks right now looks like the draft pick with the most direct path to a starting job. Andy Reid has talked up Kendricks’ ability to blitz and give the Eagles another look in the pass rush, but the linebacker said he has also been used in cover-4 early in minicamp, playing “almost like a corner.” He had an interception day one, though nothing as eye-catching today.

Kendricks wore number 30 throughout his youth football days, partly because he admired Terrell Davis and partly, he said, as “a play on numbers.”

“I was a linebacker, I could cover, so I chose a safeties’ number,” he said. Now, Kendricks is wearing 95 (all the 50s are taken), and while people question his size, he’s listed at five-foot-11, the linebacker is embracing having a lineman’s jersey.

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“Everyone’s talking about my size, so maybe I should get a big number,” Kendricks said. “That would be something new, seeing a 95 out there covering.”

We’ll have much more on Kendricks here online and in the Inquirer on Monday, including some details about his father, who was an undrafted free agent for the Birds back in 1976.

-- Bryce Brown's drama-filled road to the NFL has been well-chronicled. Rated one of the top recruits coming out of high school in 2009, he went to Tennessee but lasted only a season. Brown filed papers to transfer to another school by Tennessee coach Derek Dooley would not release him from his scholarship. So the running back had to pay his own way at Kansas State as he sat out a season because of transfer rules. When he finally got the opportunity to play for Kansas State last year he played in only the opener and then left the program.

"I've never had any off-the-field issues, never been in any trouble or anything like that," Brown said. "So if anybody asks me, my head is on straight. There was just some things that happened in college that I didn't agree with, but I'm not going to get into that. I'm focused on my opportunities now."

Despite the short resume, the Eagles selected Brown in the seventh round because of his combination of speed and size, which has been on display so far at rookie minicamp.

-- Another rookie who has a chance to play play early, cornerback Brandon Boykin, has looked strong in coverage. He broke up a deep Nick Foles pass intended for Elvis Akpla. Later, though, Boykin got mixed up in coverage and allowed a reception. He pounded the turf in anger.

-- Defensive end Vinny Curry looks incredibly fast off of the snap. With Jim Washburn urging his linemen to go full-steam ahead, though, he has jumped offsides several times. Veteran Eagles had the same issue while learning the aggressive system last year.

-- Temple cornerback Kee-ayre Griffin had an interception for a second straight day, though he didn’t have to do much to get it. Quarterback Jacory Harris lofted a pass right at him.

-- A day after leaving the afternoon session early, safety Phillip Thomas returned to practice. The undrafted rookie out of Syracuse limped off the field on Saturday with what looked to be a pulled hamstring. He came back, though, on Sunday and shined when he broke up a deep Foles pass.

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